How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day

Learning how to find bed bugs during the day is tricky. If you are wondering where bed bugs hide during the day, we will help out with some clues. We will help you figure out how to track bed bugs during the day.

As you can imagine, bed bugs prefer to be hiding in the dark, which is why they are most active at night. Anyone who has ever had an infestation will tell you that finding where bed bugs hide during the day is one of the more challenging aspects of fighting this problem.

Sometimes even catching them in action is difficult because they usually feed on us at night. (see our exceptions below)

3 Things To Do To Help You Find Bed Bugs During The Day

If you are getting some mysterious bites and are not sure if they are bed bug bites, then it’s time to start searching for more evidence! The strategies below will help you find their hiding places! We’ll even cover some tips on where to look in hotel rooms!

Use a Bed Bug Sniffing Dog

How to find bed bugs in the daytime_

 

Hire a bed bug sniffing dog service. We here at Doctor Sniffs use dogs to help us find bed bugs all of the time during the day.

Once our dogs are alert to bed bugs, we take apart the bed or furniture near the spot, looking for evidence. Sometimes in an early stage, we still won’t see evidence after the dog alerts. 

Look for Signs of Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)

look for signs of bed bugs

When looking for bed bugs during the day, it’s best to focus on signs of them.  First, take off the bed sheets and look for any black ink-like stains.

If you do see stains, place the bed sheets in plastic bags and bring them to the high heat dryer. Examine the seams of your mattress and box spring with a flashlight. You must inspect all six sides of each; you can do this by standing them up and carefully searching the seams. 

For the box spring, take off the stapled-on cover on the bottom. Looking inside the box spring, we often find bed bugs inside of the box spring. If you find any reddish-brown bugs, bed bug casings, or fecal matter, then you may have found your problem. 

Next, you’ll want to focus on the bed frame and headboard, looking for adult bed bugs or nymphs (immature bed bugs). If you see clusters of all stages then you know they’ve been there a long time. Stand your bed frame up on its side. When you stand it up, be sure to look in every corner, crevice, and joint. We often find bed bugs sitting underneath the bed frame.

Don’t forget to inspect the picture frames and wall hangings, above your bed. Bed bugs often hide behind the headboard, in a deep seam of the headboard, behind a picture frame, or somewhere similar. Inspect all of the furniture in your room. Check all sides of dressers or nightstands you suspect have a problem in the room. 

Use Monitors and Traps 

Use monitors and traps

Place out bed bug traps and monitors for catching live bed bugs. You can check these during the day for activity and they can help determine the presence of bed bugs. The best way is to use both active and passive monitors. If you see any fecal matter, live bugs, or shed skins, then you know you have a problem.

What To Do Right Away If You See A Bed Bug In Your Home During the Day

  1. Put on mattress and box spring encasements; however, it’s most important to use box spring covers. Box springs have a lot of wood inside; hence, there are plenty of hiding spots. A mattress encasement is a good idea if your mattress has a lot of seams.
  2. Put out traps and monitors.
  3. Follow the steps above for tips on finding them.
  4. Hire a professional.
  5. Some people treat their home when they see one bed bug, while others monitor and wait until they find more.

Can You See Bed Bugs During The Day?

Yes, you can see bed bugs during the day for many reasons. You will often find bed bugs by looking for their fecal droppings, these spots will smear when you rub them. 

If you have a lot of bed bug activity, it will be easy to spot black spots on your furniture, sheets, and pillowcases, as well as anywhere else they like to hang out. Most of the time, we can’t see bed bugs during the day, but we can find their droppings and shed skins.

If you can’t see bed bugs during the day, you may want to invest in a bright flashlight, magnifying glass, or bed bug traps. The traps are hidden and placed under your mattress or bed frame. 

Traps monitor for any movement and help you catch an infestation early. Put bed bug interceptors under the bedposts, behind furniture, and alongside the molding behind your headboard. That is when we most often find them.

Don’t spread diatomaceous earth around your home, if it becomes airborne it can be a health hazard. If you have a bed bug problem, it’s best to use other DIY methods like high-heat dryers and vacuums but not powders like DE or Cimexa.

Reasons why you might see bed bugs during the day

  • You brought in a hitchhiker that is hungry and searching for a blood meal.
  • If you live within an apartment building, one of your neighbors may be self-treating. If someone is self-treating nearby, it can cause some bed bugs to migrate to your apartment.

  • You went on a trip and didn’t realize that you brought a bed bug home in your suitcase. However you may find the bed bug weeks later roaming around in your home looking for a blood source.
  • You just happened to disturb the bed bugs by changing a sheet, so now they are scattering.

  • The bed bugs live somewhere, like a couch or a chair, where there isn’t anyone sleeping at nighttime. In this case, we will see them begin to move around and feed in the daytime.

  • A bed bug issue is happening in your place of work. Since nobody is there at nighttime, you may see bed bugs wandering around on the office furniture in the daytime.

Are Bed Bugs Only Active At Night?

No, they can come out during the day if they are hungry. Often when people see them during the day, the bed bug is relatively flat, meaning it has not fed in a while and is out searching for a blood meal. Figure out whether your bed bug is a male or female bed bug, so you know if you need to worry about eggs.

Do Bed Bugs Bite During the Day?

Yes, bed bugs bite during the day if they are hungry, and it is a feeding opportunity.

We often see this behavior in an infested apartment building because there are so many bed bugs that some have to feed during the day to get enough food. We also find this when people bring in a straggler on their clothing. 

A third reason is that bed bugs are living in a place where there are no people there at nighttime. Therefore in order to eat, they must bite during the day.

Sometimes carpet beetles, mosquito bites, and flea bites can give an allergic reaction that you mistake for bed bug bites. 

Are Bed Bug Eggs Visible?

Yes, a bed bug’s eggs are visible to the naked eye. The bed bug eggs are only 1mm in length and are white. They are oval-shaped and have a cap that opens to let the bug out when they are ready to hatch.

However, an actual Bed bug is between 1mm and 5mm long before it feeds. They may get up to 6 or 7 mm when engorged with blood.

Bed Bug eggs are visible. 3 bed bug eggs and a shed skin.
Bed Bug Eggs Are Visible

Bed bugs often prefer crevices where it’s easy to hide. So, using a ruler, you can see that bed bug eggs are pretty small and hard to find if they are on the surface of your mattress or furniture.

The other thing about bed bugs is that they can squeeze into tight spaces. Anywhere you see two pieces of wood screwed or nailed together (like on a bed frame) is a potential place where they may be hiding.

When Are Bed Bugs Most Active?

They are nocturnal creatures and prefer to be active during the nighttime. However, if they are hungry enough, you will see them during the day.

Are Bed Bugs Active During the Day?

Yes, they can be active during the day, but that is not natural. Naturally, they are nocturnal and prefer to feed on blood at night.

What Does It Mean If You See A Bed Bug On Your Wall During The Day?

It usually means that you either brought in a straggler and it has not yet found its permanent home (your bed), or it’s wandering from a neighboring apartment. Sometimes we find an infestation so heavy that the bed bug is crawling on the walls, ceilings, and floors. 

Usually, when one apartment is this bad, the bed bugs begin turning up in neighboring units. So if you see a bed bug on your wall or a bed bug on your ceiling, you may want to insist that the management company inspect the adjacent apartments.

Check for any bats around your property. Sometimes random bugs on walls are mistaken for bed bugs when in reality, they are bat bugs. Zoom in and take a clear photo of the bug. Then send it to your local pest control professional for ID. Above all, getting rid of bat bugs requires first dealing with the bats.

What Does It Mean If I See A Bed Bug On My Comforter During The Day?

There are times when this happens, but it’s not normal. It could mean:

  • Sometimes if a person does not react to bed bugs, they do not know that they have a problem. Usually, the person will go away on a trip, and when they return home, they see a random bed bug on their bed in the middle of the day. More importantly, it’s because the bed bug did not have a regular blood meal, so it is out wandering looking for food during the day.

  • Another reason may be that you picked up a bed bug at the laundry mat. If you use a laundry service, there is a small risk that your clothing will contact a bed bug at the laundry mat.

  • Always make sure to ask them to dry your clothing in the hottest setting.

  • A third reason is that you went to the movies, Doctor’s office, or some other public place with an unknown bed bug issue. You may have sat down somewhere, and a bed bug crawled onto your coat. Consequently, you get home and throw your jacket on your bed. As a result, you have now introduced a bed bug into your home.

What To Do If You See A Bed Bug On Your Comforter In The Daytime

Consequently, the safest thing to do every time you come home is to isolate your clothing in a bag from a public place. You can even buy a heat box like the Zapp Bug or Thermal Strike.

Both of these machines will heat your belonging to a temperature above 120°F. As a result, any bug on your clothing, suitcase, or backpack will be dead.

I use the ZappBug. However, I have gone to many clients’ homes who have the thermal strike set up, and they love it. The main thing about these heat boxes is that they give you peace of mind.

No more worrying about picking a bed bug up on your coat or luggage; just put it in your heat box when you get home. The heat boxes help with bed bug anxiety.

Where Do Bed Bugs Prefer To Hide During The Day? 

A few ideas to lead you on a path of *how to find bed bugs during the day*.

  • Behind headboards
  • Inside of a box spring frame
  • Underneath your bed frame
  • On wooden furniture
  • Inside of a crease of wood
  • Alongside mattress seams

  • Under the plastic corner protector of a box spring
  • Deep inside a bed frame (especially if it’s a wooden captain’s bed)
  • Under metal screws (they squeeze into the side)
  • The molding behind the bed

  • On the bottom of a couches foot (where they screw the foot into the couch’s wooden frame)
  • Deep inside the inner frame of a couch
  • Behind the couch on a seam
  • On a couch cushion zipper seam

Learning where bed bugs hide during the day will also help you figure out how to find bed bugs during the day. There is no easy answer since they are notorious for hiding so well that we often cannot see them.

Figuring Out How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day is Not an Easy Task

Even with all of my tools (bed bug dog, bright flashlight, microscope, and testing kits) often it’s not easy to find these bugs.

A few years ago, Goosey and I searched an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the residents were getting bites, and they thought they may have seen a bug but couldn’t be sure. Goosey alerted near the bed frame, and the client and I took apart the entire bed, aside from unscrewing the bed frame.

Unfortunately, we could not find any evidence; however, months later, he called me to thank me. The reason being is that he found one of the clusters where they were living. 

After he began to unscrew each wooden piece of the bed frame, he saw fecal matter and shed skins between 2 pieces of wood.

The two pieces were held together tightly by screws. The fecal matter and shed skins were not visible from the outside. However, that is precisely where our bed bug sniffing dog sat (her passive alert for bed bugs).

Final Thoughts on “How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day”

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find. However, knowing where they hide during the day and learning how to recognize their presence in your home or workplace will make finding them much more manageable. We recommend using a bed bug sniffing dog as well as following these other steps: 

1) Inspect all furniture seams for any signs of fecal matter or shed skins 2) check behind headboards 3) inspect mattress seams 4) look inside creases on wooden pieces

5) search underneath metal screws 6) pullback moldings 7) examine couch feet 8 )look at seat cushions 9) inspect couches 10) contact a professional if you’re still struggling with finding and identifying bed bugs after this process.